Villeneuve-la-Rivière, France
Villeneuve-la-Rivière, France

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Moog U.,University of Heidelberg | Kutsche K.,University of Hamburg | Kortum F.,University of Hamburg | Chilian B.,University of Hamburg | And 28 more authors.
Journal of Medical Genetics | Year: 2011

Background: Heterozygous mutations in the CASK gene in Xp11.4 have been shown to be associated with a distinct brain malformation phenotype in females, including disproportionate pontine and cerebellar hypoplasia. Methods: The study characterised the CASK alteration in 20 new female patients by molecular karyotyping, fluorescence in situ hybridisation, sequencing, reverse transcriptase (RT) and/or quantitative real-time PCR. Clinical and brain imaging data of a total of 25 patients were reviewed. Results: 11 submicroscopic copy number alterations, including nine deletions of ̃ ∼11 kb to 4.5 Mb and two duplications, all covering (part of) CASK, four splice, four nonsense, and one 1 bp deletion are reported. These heterozygous CASK mutations most likely lead to a null allele. Brain imaging consistently showed diffuse brainstem and cerebellar hypoplasia with a dilated fourth ventricle, but of remarkably varying degrees. Analysis of 20 patients in this study, and five previously reported patients, revealed a core clinical phenotype comprising severe developmental delay/intellectual disability, severe postnatal microcephaly, often associated with growth retardation, (axial) hypotonia with or without hypertonia of extremities, optic nerve hypoplasia, and/or other eye abnormalities. A recognisable facial phenotype emerged, including prominent and broad nasal bridge and tip, small or short nose, long philtrum, small chin, and/or large ears. Conclusions: These findings define the phenotypic spectrum associated with CASK loss-of-function mutations. The combination of developmental and brain imaging features together with mild facial dysmorphism is highly suggestive of this disorder and should prompt subsequent testing of the CASK gene.

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